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The NM START Program, housed at the UNM Center for Development and Disability, launched in August 2023, as an initiative to address the issues experienced by individuals with disabilities in the State of New Mexico. The START (Systemic-Therapeutic-Assessment-Resources-Treatment) model is an evidence-informed model of integrated community crisis prevention & intervention services for individuals ages 6 and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health needs. START was first developed in 1988 by Dr. Joan B. Beasley and was cited as a best practice in the 2002 US Surgeon General’s report and by the National Academy of Sciences in 2016. The National Center for START Services at the UNH Institute on Disability oversees the development, measurement and quality of START programs across the country. The NM START Program provides mental health assessment, crisis response, behavioral intervention, coordination, therapeutic coaching, training, and linkage of systems to address the complex needs of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual, or Developmental Disabilities and mental health needs. We are a multidisciplinary team of providers, including psychologists, psychiatrists, educators, therapists, and other staff who collaborate to meet the needs of this often vulnerable and underserved group of individuals and their families. The goal is to significantly reduce emergency mental health service use and improve caregiver and client satisfaction and quality of life through improved capacity of supporting systems and skills. Since our launch in 2023, we have served over 25 clients, and receive more referrals every day. Our poster will cover the START team's successes and challenges in our first year, as well as provide information for collaboration, involvement, and referral.



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